HERE AGAIN is the trailer for the return of COMMUNITY. 

Yesterday on Twitter, I respectfully reminded internet users that if they like this show, they should consider WATCHING IT, specifically TONIGHT at 8PM. 

COMMUNITY is a show that I am proud to play a small part in later this season, and I like it very much, and I hope its hiatus and return from exile will help refocus attention on a  show that has truly grown into something absolutely new and brilliant and deserving of your attention. 

The problem, of course, is that it reaches as many internet users—young humans who like to watch bits and pieces of things online, or whole things online, sometimes paying for them, some times not. 

Other people like waiting for DVDs, or recording things and watching them later. 

There is no question that this is the future of watching things. I support this future. And eventually I trust a more evolved ratings system will reveal the scope of this shadow audience that is currently not thoroughly counted. 

But for the time being, COMMUNITY is still a television show. You should feel no obligation to like it, or to support it. But if you do want to support it, I would say that tonight is a pretty critical time to do so, and they way you can do that is by WATCHING IT ON TV, and tonight especially WHEN IT IS ON. 

This should not be hard. We like to watch TV. I have been told by a highly placed person within the COMMUNITY world, codenamed Hale McJoel, that the preference is for you to watch it as it airs, whether or not you are a Nielsen family.

And for my own sake, I hope you will do this, or they will throw my episode into the river. They have promised me this. 

But my interest is not purely selfish. TV ratings are archaic, weird, arcane. People legitimately don’t know HOW to support the things they love. And how much more amazing could TV be if we could efficiently mobilize our support in a way that makes a real difference at the right time?

I’m sure BORED TO DEATH would like to know. 

As a meager start in educating ourselves, here is what Nielsen SAYS about ratings; and here is an interesting BREAKDOWN from TV By The Numbers about what views are counted and how.

I haven’t been able to drill down through all of this data yet, but here’s more or less what I’ve gleaned that may augment your WATCHING OF COMMUNITY ON TELEVISION TONIGHT AT 8, if you so choose. 

1) spread the word about the airtime and encourage people to watch it live. You may not be a Nielsen box owner, but your message might reach one. 

2) ask your mom and dad to watch Community live, the same way you got them to vote for Obama, because they actually watch TV and know other people who do. 

3) if you have a COMMUNITY viewing party, ask your guests to individually DVR it and then playback that recording—WITH COMMERCIALS—within 24 hours. 

4) or just ask them to watch it live, and then tweet and tumbl ALL ABOUT IT during airtime. 

5) if you steal things, maybe consider: STOP IT. But if you believe your stealing things is part of your expression of your love for a thing, then do your karmic part and spread the word and suggest that other people watch it ON TELEVISION TONIGHT AT 8PM. 

Again, none of this is obligatory IN THE LEAST. Do what you feel like. ENJOY BASKETSBALL IF YOU HAVE TO. 

I only ask you, friends of the Internet, as a creator and consumer of culture, to not confuse your enthusiasm for a thing—expressed in tweets and tumbls and comments and torrents and downloads and upthumbs and gifs—with actual support for a thing that you want to last.

And if you want that thing to last, that means supporting it in the way that, for better or for worse, it makes its money: watching it as it airs, buying tickets to it when it comes out, buying it when it is available, seeing it when it comes to town. 

And with that in mind, I will also callously point out that I will be at the State Theater of State College, PA TOMORROW NIGHT, and I would love to talk this over with you there when I am BAREFOOT and FULL OF @colleenky’s SCOTCH. 

But if you must choose, just watch COMMUNITY tonight at 8, or support something or someone else you love. 

That is all. 

I almost went out tonight. But I owe it to Greendale to stay home and watch LIVE ON TV.

By Henry T. Casey

Pop Culture Pen For Hire

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